Mellencamp: American Troubadour

Mellencamp: American Troubadour

by David Masciotra


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Mellencamp: American Troubadour by David Masciotra

Throughout his prolific career, John Mellencamp has performed more than twenty Top 40 hits, has been nominated for thirteen Grammy Awards, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hits like "Jack and Diane," "Small Town," and "Cherry Bomb" are iconic American songs that have played an important role in defining midwestern music and developing the rock genre. Despite his critical and commercial success, however, the rough guy from a small town writing songs about everything he "learned about living" is often omitted from the ranks of America's songwriting elite.

In Mellencamp, David Masciotra explores the life and career of one of America's most important and underrated songwriters, persuasively arguing that he deserves to be celebrated alongside artists like Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan. Beginning with his modest beginnings in Seymour, Indiana, Masciotra details Mellencamp's road to fame, examining his struggles with the music industry and his persistent dedication to his midwestern roots. Shaking off the shortsighted "regionalist" stereotype and dismissing his assumed pop-star persona, Mellencamp found success by remaining true to where he came from.

This thoughtful analysis highlights four decades of the artist's music, which has consistently elevated the dignity of everyday people and honored the quiet heroism of raising families and working hard. This first serious biography of the legendary musician will charm fans and music enthusiasts who are interested in the development of roots rock and Americana music.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813147338
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 04/06/2015
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 468,436
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David Masciotra is a regular contributor to Salon and AlterNet. He is the author of Working on a Dream: The Progressive Political Vision of Bruce Springsteen and has written for numerous publications, including the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Table of Contents

Introduction: No Pop Singer 1

1 Thundering Hearts 11

2 Holding Hands Meant Something 39

3 Get a Leg Up 65

4 Eden Is Burning 73

5 Blues from the Front Porch 97

6 Big Daddy of Them All 111

7 Don't Need This Body 135

8 The Lonesome Jubilee 167

9 Here in the Melting Pot 195

10 Winners and Losers 211

11 Freedom of Speech 233

12 Fighting Authority 241

Conclusion: Rock 'n' Roll 255

Acknowledgments 263

Bibliography 265

Index 271

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